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OFFICIAL HISTORY: ITS PITFALLS^ND CRITERIA
one another out to some degree. Lord Morley, when he
opposed war in 1914, asked what this country would do
wkh a victorious Russia if German power was destroyed.
Professor Temperley, in an article written to defend
the Entente cause against certain misrepresentations,
came to the conclusion that on the whole issue
Great Britain was justified in going to war in 1914, He
added the further question: Was she wise ? And he
did not give the answer to that.

It was a tradition of British foreign policy that we
should always fight any single Power that threatened
to dominate the Continent. But by that same argument
we could always keep our heads above water, always
find a game to play, if there only were two giants
competing with one another. If only there are two of
these monstrous ogres striding the Continent and con-
fronting one another, then even the smaller States in the
neighbourhood can hold back far more than their own
weight of that arrogant power. For our perihelion of
Mercury we have the further anomaly, the new thing
that is so unlike the traditions of British foreign policy;
the fact that recently more than once we have made it
our avowed political object so to destroy one of the
giants that half a continent was left at the good or bad
intentions of the other. Notliing could be more
calculated than this to make even the intentions of that
remaining Power take a turn for the worse, however
virtuous they might have been hitherto. And though
in the case of these two giants the one danger might
at a given moment be more immediate and pressing
than the other, so that a careless indifference on our